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Friday, November 17, 2006

Prime Minister faces protesters at EC conference

Ethiotribune on Major General Alemshet Degife (Chief of the Air force), Brigadier General Kumera and Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige's Removal below

Also in the news: CUD Trial Update, Rising Tensions: Three Generals purged, *Is Ethiopia’s Economy really growing? (amharic), Nearly 2 million flee floods in East Africa, African leaders want EU aid, not meddling

International: Sudan Says It Will Accept U.N.-African Peace Force in Darfur, U.S. says China building military beyond its needs , Socialists Back Woman in Race to be next president of France, Israel developing anti-militant "bionic hornet" and more of today's top stories

Meles Zenawi gives a speech at the European Development days conference in Brussels (today) November 17, 2006.REUTERS/Yves Herman (BELGIUM).

BRUSSELS - According to deutsche welle radio, numerous Ethiopians were in Brussels protesting Prime Minister Meles’s visit. When it came turn for the prime minister to speak Ethiopians who were already in the hall, raising protest signs and shouting slogans displayed their disapproval. Sources are reporting that the prime minister may have cut his speech short because of the fierce opposition he faced in the auditorium. Listen to DW’s report courtesy of addisvoice

CUD Trial Update

Early this week, prosecutors Shiemels Kemal, Michael Teklu, and Abreha Tetemke again failed to prove that widespread violence was instigated by the defendants on November 1st, 2005. Seven witnesses were presented as victims of said riots, apparently in relation to the charge of “attempting to incite genocide”.

The majority of the witnesses claimed lasting psychological damage--lamenting the alleged destruction of property and ongoing subjugation to “local stigma”; however, the connection between the complaints and this serious charge remains yet to be seen. (...Understandably, however, the psyche of witness Mebrat Tesfaye, 39 MUST be irrevocably damaged if, in fact, the stones reportedly thrown at his house by “unknown individuals” truly were intended "to disturb me to do not sleep peacefully”! )(More..)

Rising Tensions: Three Generals purged

Addis Ababa - the government-owned Ethiopian Television last night reported that three generals of the Ethiopian Army, Major General Alemshet Degife, Brigadiers Kumera and Asaminew Tsige, are suspended from their duties.

Although the announcement was made by the Defense Council, at the Ministry of Defense, the instruction is said to come right from the Prime Minister himself.

Major General Alemshet has been the Chief of the Air force. He was assigned this post after a similar purge in 2001 following the division within the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the dominant party within the rump EPRDF.

After the defection of other senior military commanders, the Ethiopian Prime Minister is facing strong upheaval from the armed force. Analysts believe that after the defection and dismissal of so many senior officers, maintaining control over the army will be highly problematic.

Before coming to power in 1991, the TPLF manufactured PDOs to give a more multinational image. Lately this ruse is falling apart and the EPRDF, the ruling coalition, is increasingly being reduced to its Tigrean core with the defection, resignation, arrest and disappearance of several Oromo and Amhara dignitaries. (More...)

Today's Top Stories

-*Is Ethiopia’s Economy really growing?
-African leaders want EU aid, not meddling
-Nearly 2 million flee floods in East Africa
-Sudan Says It Will Accept U.N.-African Peace Force in Darfur
-Congo election loser vows legal fight
-U.S.: China building military beyond its needs
-Socialists Back Woman in Race to be next president of France
-Rome hosts major anti-mafia forum
-Israel developing anti-militant "bionic hornet"
-Beauty queen puts down arms to save legs